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Old 01-22-2005, 06:49 PM   #1
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2016 30' Flying Cloud
Oviedo , Florida
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Need Hitch Advice for New Owner

Just bought a 2005 Safari Special Edition (details on what this is are covered in a thread in the 2005 Safari forum) and need hitch advice. My TV is a Dodge 3500 DRW diesel (was originally thinking 5ver before AS bug bit), and the trailer is the 25 SS. The dealer (yeah, I know) advised trying it out with the standard bar on the class IV before going to a WD/Anti-sway rig like the Reese. His rationale was that the better towing characteristics of the AS coupled with my heavy, long dualie would not sway much, if any. While I'm somewhat open to this notion based on comments I've read, my gut instinct is to get a sway-controlling hitch (such as the Reese Dual-Cam) to have him install on the Safari before I take delivery and tow it home 100 miles on busy interstate. I feel that the dualie will significantly help in the sway department.

I should add that this is my first large travel trailer, and my previous towing experience is limited to Formula Ford race car trailers many years ago and our Aliner towed behind my wife's Subaru Forester. Figured I might as well jump in the deep end and starting paddling :-)

Suggestions? Reese vs Equalizer vs ? I'm not going for a Hensly due to cost at this point. Or should I just slap a friction sway bar on?

Thanks, Keith

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Old 01-22-2005, 07:28 PM   #2
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1963 24' Tradewind
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We have an Equal-I-Zer hitch for our 28' CCD and it seems to work very well.

Congrats on the new trailer! I like the pic's you posted.


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Old 01-22-2005, 07:42 PM   #3
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Need Hitch Advice for New Owner

Greetings Keith!

While the weight distributing setup may not be absolutely necessary with your 1-ton truck as tow vehicle, my advice would be to go ahead with the quality hitch apparatus. Even with my small, 3,100 pound GVW Minuet and 3/4-ton Suburban tow vehicle, I still insist upon the Reese Strait-Line hitch with Dual Cam - - the one big consideration is that to get any benefit with the Daul Cam system on a heavy tow vehcile (in comaprison to coach being towed) is to use weight distribution bars with lighter weight rating. When I tow my Minuet with the Suburban, I use 500 pound bars (it has a loaded hitch weight of 575 pounds) to get enough tension for the Dual Cams to function properly. Personally, after having the Dual Cam system, I would never go back to a friction sway device unless my loaded hitch weight were less than the necessary 400 pounds - - my experience with the friction devices included fequent stops for adjustment (loosen for rainy or slippery conditions - - tighten for windy or heavy truck traffic conditions - - remove for tight backing situations).

Good luck with your investigation, and enjoy your new coach - - that model sounds like one of the more intriguing ideas of recent manufacture.

Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
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1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 01-22-2005, 10:33 PM   #4
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You may also want to consider an air ride stinger mount for your Reese hitch head to soften the ride against the 3500 dually. That stiff truck can beat the dickens out of the front end of your 25 ft trailer.
If you had a 34 footer, with more hitch weight, I would think you might be better off, but that 3500 dually is nothing but a stiff ride for the 25 ft trailer.
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Old 01-22-2005, 11:13 PM   #5
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hi keith

great looking trailer...please post more pictures of the new unit. it looks wonderful. since i'm just about to order an 05....i'll have to look closely at this special blend. while i want classic size i really like the laminate cabinets of the safari and a touch of modern from the ccd.

coming from years living in an airstream motorhome, i have as little towing history as fact most of my towing is a 100lb trailer behind my bicycle.

so i'll say my part; then duck and run......

your tv's suspension, weight, rear track and so on, are more than up to the task. i agree with your dealer, live with it a while before adding sway control. i know all of us rookies have awake'mares, that while towing we will be drifting wildly across 6 lanes....but if anyone qualifies for a "wait awhile" approach it's you. i'm not suggesting you shouldn't evenually have sway control but i think it would be reasonable to pull it for awhile first.....too bad we can't test everything for 30 days beforehand.

i'd focus on a nice brake controller AND figuring out how to soften up the truck/trailer connection. i've read some really interesting posts here about how and why modern stiff tv are somewhat responsible for literally shaking vintage airstreams appart, rivet by rivet. your truck is a monster.

now i'll duck. post more pics please.

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Old 01-23-2005, 05:44 AM   #6
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The ride in the truck empty isn't nearly as bad as I expected, but I hadn't thought about potentially beating up the trailer. However, 800-900 lbs sitting on the rear will certainly smooth things out.

Since my dealer doesn't carry the Equal-i-zer (which I'm inclined to go with basd on simplicity), I'm not sure how to order the correct head until I actually get the truck & trailer here to make measurements.

Years ago when I was racing, I don't recall anyone using fancy hitches, so I may be overly concerned. I can always have the dealer throw a cheap sway bar on for piece of mind to get me home.
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Old 01-23-2005, 05:57 AM   #7
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We currently have a '02 Chevy C-C dually and tow a 99-34' Excella. We originally tried a Reese Dual Cam with the friction control, but didn't like it. I looked at both the PullRite and Hensley and ultimatley decided on the Hensley. The difference was night and day. We are on our second 34' Excella and second Hensley. The folks that bought our first 34' had to have the Hensley and he pulls it with a Ford F350 C-C dually 4x4.
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Old 01-23-2005, 05:26 PM   #8
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This is one that every time I think I have it figured out, I get confused again. I talked with the long term Airstream dealer in Gainesville who recommended the Hensley or Equilizer (sp?). He said he had never seen a rolled or jack-knifed trailer that didn't have the dual cam hitch. (I'm sure there are just as many as did, but I don't know.) I will have to wait 'til closer to purchasing time to make up my mind and I may just have to flip a coin. The Hensley is really more than I want to spend, but if it makes as great a difference as the manufacturer claims, it might be worth it.

Good luck with your decision.
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Old 01-23-2005, 07:17 PM   #9
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I agree with all the comments on the harshness a 1 ton can do. About all I can say is that we've used Reese for decades. I have the new dual cam HP and found it works very well.

Now that we have a 3/4 Burb, the weight bars are not as needed, but still good for adding rigidity. I noticed instantly that the truck can tow without it, but it lacked a stable feel until the bars went on.

Whatever way you go, you can't go wrong with what's been talked about so far. Just don't cut any corners and you should be in great shape.
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Old 01-24-2005, 12:31 AM   #10
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1 ton van

We've got a 94 one ton dodge van (B350) with a short overhang (not the maxi van). While firm (the van drops but 1/4" measured with the trailer on without the bars) I still use the bars from the draw tite set up that we have. I did put a sway control (friction) on .. . it does help when passing three sets of semi's in a row. I don't know why three is the magic number, two seemed fine, but three semis set up some nasty sidewinds.

Anyway, I feel that proper height makes a whole world of difference in stability ... I was 1" off (tongue high) and it tended to sway just a bit. Now that I'm level, it tows like a dream.

My van doesn't seem to beat up the trailer with it's one ton springs and Load range E van tires (BFG longtrail radials 255/70/16's). I'd like to put a dually set-up on my van.. I think that would be almost sporty! I think it would also help me in the snow.
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Old 01-24-2005, 06:20 AM   #11
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I tow a 30ft Slide out classic with a 1 ton drw dodge cummins and it is not to harsh unless you encounter bad roads bumps at speed. I do want to investigate the airride but have not yet. I do have a hensley and paid for it one year same as cash thru hensley , if you think you want one that may be the way to buy it now instead of buying a hitch now and upgrading later. Hensley is pretty high on price , has a ridiculous sales tape/cd but the product does work and work well. Is it needed for a 25ft I guess you will get lots of opinions on that. If you haven't picked a brake controler yet look at
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Old 01-24-2005, 06:59 AM   #12
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maybe try one of the air ride hitches
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Old 01-24-2005, 09:44 AM   #13
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If you want another choice for Air Ride hitches, then look at this site I have a couple of friends that have this on their trucks and they say the ride is GREAT!
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Old 04-16-2005, 12:35 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by khollister
... My TV is a Dodge 3500 DRW diesel (was originally thinking 5ver before AS bug bit), and the trailer is the 25 SS. The dealer (yeah, I know) advised trying it out with the standard bar on the class IV before going to a WD/Anti-sway rig like the Reese. ...
Thanks, Keith

If your truck has the factory-installed hitch, it is not rated for a tongue weight of more than 500 pounds unless a weight-distributing hitch is used. With a weight-distributing hitch, you may tow a trailer with a tongue weight of up to 1000 pounds.

You may or may not need the sway control, but I expect that even a 25-foot Safari will produce a tongue weight of more than 500 pounds when it's loaded correctly.

The sway control is up to you; it can probably be added later if necessary. The weight-distributing hitch is basically mandatory.


2012 New Horizons Travel Trailer (formerly an Airstream owner)
2008 Dodge 2500 diesel with Equal-i-zer hitch.
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